How is everyone holding up in quarantine? This is a very unusual time, and we have had our share of ups and downs in our household. We have not gone anywhere since the middle of March, I can’t even remember exactly when we decided we were self-quarantining...March 14, I think? Was it Shakespeare who said beware the ides of March? Ha...boy was he right.
Since we have been social distancing and in isolation, we’ve experienced a lot of emotions. On one hand, it’s awesome to be forced to stop everything and slow life down for a bit. Up until now, we were going somewhere every single day. Kyle has a regular full-time job as a mechanical engineer, and I work part-time in marketing for a technology firm. I was at work two days per week, which meant the kids were either at daycare or home with Kyle’s mom, and the rest of the week we had an event every morning, usually Bible study or going to the local Y to exercise and see friends. Or we would have some lunch and afternoon playdates. Now we are home. And oddly, I find that despite having less on the calendar, we are much busier than usual. I don’t think I knew the extent of how much of our time was taken up by driving places or just being elsewhere, but we have had to up the children’s activity / entertainment by a million it seems. Which has made us much busier than usual. Not to mention how much more we are using our house and the amount of times that requires the loading and unloading of the dishwasher...some days I think that is all I do!
Initially, I attempted to keep a very structured schedule for my 3-year-old daughter because I was afraid she would get bored or just annoy me too much. After about two-ish days of that, I bailed. I was getting so frustrated that she didn’t feel like doing the activities I had planned for her, and it was just making us angry with one another. Not worth it. She’s 3. She doesn’t need structured time all day long. Sure, it’s nice to have some activities to do some of the days, but we’re working on what that balance looks like for us. It’s actually been very interesting to watch what kind of scenarios she comes up with just playing on her own and using her imagination.
What have we been thankful for during this time?
Despite the chaos that is always present in this world and even more right now, we are trying to remain grateful. We have much in our lives that has been given to us by God, and we know that he knew this was going to come to pass and that he is bigger than anything that happens in this world. Yep, even in a pandemic, God is faithful, and I believe that. Bad things happen, but that doesn’t make him a less loving, less faithful God. In fact, I think it shows his faithfulness even more because no matter what happens in life or to our weak, human bodies, he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And God doesn’t promise that we will ever be free from danger, pain, and suffering.
Living where we do now has also been a major factor. With a large yard and the hope of warmer weather around the corner, we have had plenty of space to spread out and are looking forward to spending lots of time at the pool in our backyard.
It should also be mentioned that we are extremely grateful for the ability to work from home not only to do our part in social distancing, but that Kyle has a job that is continuing to be busy in spite of the times.
Keeping small children busy is an artform...and I am not that kind of artist
Like I said, the first few days we tried to keep a fairly structured routine. I quickly discovered this was causing stress for everyone rather than peace. So I changed the plan. Here is what the kids have been up to:
Playing outside (when the weather is decent...I have a low tolerance for cold)
Plenty of arts and crafts activities (anything that involves gluing or painting is preferred)
Coffee filter butterflies
Play Doh cutting
Coloring with markers and crayons
Virtual preschool story time
FaceTiming with friends and family
Watching TV (Let’s be real here. I’m not trying to be a hero here...sometimes I just need everyone to be quiet and leave me alone!)
Learning activities (some more popular than others…)
Having some planned activities is nice and gives us options throughout the week, but I also like to switch the plan up depending on if the moment is right. For more of the activities we've been doing, you can follow me on Pinterest, where I'm saving a lot of the ideas we are using!
What have I been doing to stay busy?
Besides being extremely busy entertaining the kids, cleaning them up, feeding them, reading to them, and more, I do sometimes get to choose what I would like to do. Ironically, I am getting to exercise even more than I was before, when I was going to the Y for fitness classes every week. Body Pump is my favorite class, and doing it at home with hand weights just wasn’t the same. I was able to get a similar barbell to use at home with the Les Mills On Demand subscription, and that has been awesome! Exercise certainly helps pass the time and keep me energized. I have been using this barbell (currently out of stock) and these weight clips. You can also do Body Pump with hand weights, if you don't mind doing a lot of squats holding weight in your hands instead of on your back.
We have been cooking a lot more, too, though this isn’t something I’ve particularly enjoyed lately. Another aspect I have actually been enjoying about this is the weekly Zoom meetings with my small group friends. I actually “see” them more now than I did when we could actually leave our houses.
That has basically been us for the last several weeks. Some house projects are getting done, we’re spending time outside as much as we can, and trying to pass the time well. What about you?